R.K. Shethi poses with the Designer Shop car, which is made of PE and sports a solar panel. (Plastics News photo by Satnam Singh)
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NEW DELHI (April 19, 1:10 p.m. ET) — Metal is being replaced by plastic in a water dam in India, though the project is still experimental as its viability is being assessed.
Rotational molded partitions are being installed in the dam, on a river in Pune.
“Currently, plastic water dam partitions are undergoing testing at the river. The certification from the state government is in process,” said R.K. Shethi, managing director of Maharashtra Maha Polyplast Pvt. Ltd., the company that came up with and manufactured the model at its rotomolding unit in Mumbai, India.
The idea is to replace the heavy and expensive metal from various river dams.
“Theft of metal partitions is rampant all over India and its life is merely two to three years,” he said. “Besides, plastic partitions have longer life, are colorful and have no resale value,” he said.
The firm also is working on underground manhole chambers.
Maharashtra Maha Polyplast has been in the rotomolding business for 15 years, making auto parts like fuel tanks, air ducts and bumpers. It also makes and exports rotomolding machines.
At Plastindia 2012 in New Delhi, the company showcased innovative products. The Designer Shop is a colorful, mobile cooler made from five parts — the double-walled cooler body, fixed lid, moving lid canopy and canopy lid. The complete unit is assembled on a trolley fitted with four wheels. It is developed with a special grade of ultraviolet-light-stabilized polyethylene for outdoor use. It also has a solar panel and an LED light.
“The mobile cooler wagon is targeting the beverage industry,” Shethi said. “Its lightweight, user-friendly, mobile features make it acceptable in rural areas where power is scarce, in addition to shopping malls, restaurants, gardens, beaches and pools in urban areas.”
The cart was designed by Navi Mumbai-based Innovaxis India Pvt. Ltd., which is part of the $300 million Sumaria Group of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
“We have design capabilities with designers trained at the National Institute of Design, Delhi,” said Rohit Vedi of Innovaxis. “Since we do not have a rotomolding operation, we have outsourced manufacturing from Maharashtra Maha Polyplast.” The carts were made to supply the African market for Coke.
“We supply around 7,000-10,000 units annually. The majority of them are exported to the African market,” Vedi said.
Maharashtra Maha Polyplast has won numerous accolades for its unique products, including a mobile luxury toilet that won the Best Design & Product Award at Plastivision 2007 in Mumbai.
“We are supplying the mobile toilets to the Indian and African market,” Shethi said.